Mele's modified definition of self-deception is consistent with evolutionary theory. Self-deception is most likely whenever ignorance confers (reproductive) advantage, namely, in impression management, deception, conformity, social norms, reproductive knowledge, and existential conflicts. Second-order self-deception (unawareness of unawareness) perpetuates self-deception and may be the reason for our misguided definitions.
In his 1985 book on philosophy and atheism, the Canadian thinker Kai Nielsen, a prolific writer on the subject, wonders why the philosophy of religion is ‘so boring’, and concludes that it must be ‘because the case for atheism is so strong that it is difficult to work up much enthusiasm for the topic.’ Indeed, Nielsen even regards most of the contemporary arguments for atheism as little more than ‘mopping up operations after the Enlightenment’ which, on the whole, add little (...) to the socio-anthropological and socio-psychological accounts of religion provided by thinkers like Feuerbach, Marx and Freud, as any ‘reasonable person informed by modernity’ will readily acknowledge. On this view, the answer to Kant's question – ‘What may we hope?’ – does not gesture towards a resurrection and personal immortality, but instead to the death of religious discourse itself: I think, and indeed hope, that God-talk, and religious discourse more generally, is, or at least should be, dying out in the West, or more generally in a world that has felt the force of a Weberian disenchantment of the world. This sense that religious convictions are no longer a live option is something which people who think of themselves as either modernists or post-modernists very often tend to have. (shrink)
This paper provides a methodological analysis of Libertarian Paternalism, as put forward in the book Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein (Yale University Press, 2008). Libertarian Paternalism aims to use the accumulated findings of behavioural economics in order to assist decision-makers to make better choices. The philosophical debate about this proposal has focused on normative issues with regards to this proposal. This paper analyses Libertarian Paternalism descriptively and points out four methodological conditions for successful Nudges. On that basis, a (...) methodological critique of Libertarian Paternalism is mounted: the success conditions suggest that Nudges might be even harder to implement and to justify than commonly assumed in the philosophical debate. (shrink)
On the received view, the Representational Theory of Measurement reduces measurement to the numerical representation of empirical relations. This account of measurement has been widely criticized. In this article, I provide a new interpretation of the Representational Theory of Measurement that sidesteps these debates. I propose to view the Representational Theory of Measurement as a library of theorems that investigate the numerical representability of qualitative relations. Such theorems are useful tools for concept formation that, in turn, is one crucial aspect (...) of measurement for a broad range of cases in linguistics, rational choice, metaphysics, and the social sciences. (shrink)
We confront the philosophical literature on fair division problems with axiomatic and game-theoretic work in economics. Firstly, we show that the proportionality method advocated in Curtis is not implied by a general principle of fairness, and that the proportional rule cannot be explicated axiomatically from that very principle. Secondly, we suggest that Broome’s notion of claims is too restrictive and that game-theoretic approaches can rectify this shortcoming. More generally, we argue that axiomatic and game-theoretic work in economics is an indispensable (...) ingredient of any theorizing about fair division problems and allocative justice. (shrink)
Philosophical theories of fairness propose to divide a good that several individuals have a claim to in proportion to the strength of their respective claims. We suggest that currently, these theories face a dilemma when dealing with a good that is indivisible. On the one hand, theories of fairness that use weighted lotteries are either of limited applicability or fall prey to an objection by Brad Hooker. On the other hand, accounts that do without weighted lotteries fall prey to three (...) fairness paradoxes. We demonstrate that division methods from apportionment theory, which has hitherto been ignored by philosophical theories of fairness, can be used to provide fair division for indivisible goods without weighted lotteries and without fairness paradoxes. (shrink)
Controversies about time discounting loom large in decisions about climate change. Prominently, a particularly controversial debate about time discounting in climate change decision-making has been conducted within climate economics, between the authors of Stern et al. and their critics :977–981, 2006; Weitzman in J Econ Lit XLV:703–724, 2007; Nordhaus in J Econ Lit XLV:686–702, 2007). The article examines the role of values in this debate. Firstly, it is shown that time discounting is a case in which values are key because (...) it is at heart an ethical problem. Secondly, it is argued that time discounting in climate economics is a case of economists making frequent and routine references to ethical values and indeed conduct ethical debates with each other. Thirdly, it is argued that there is evidence for deep and pervasive entanglement between facts and values in the prevalent methodologies for time discounting. Finally, it is argued that this means that economists have given up the ‘value-free ideal’ concerning time discounting, and discussed how the current methodology of time discounting in economics can be improved. (shrink)
Ever since the publication of Singer’s (1972) article on ‘Famine, Affluence, and Morality’ have debates about duties to the distant needy been marked by a high degree of controversy. Most contributors discuss how duties are established or influenced by the fact that those in need of help can be geographically close or distant. In other words, they debate the problem of duty and distance from the perspective of duties. Here, we change tack and put the concept of distance at the (...) centre of the analysis. We ask: what precisely is the definition and role of geographical distance in the different contributions? We argue that a distinction between empirical and moral disagreement over geographical distance clarifies several important aspects of the debate. The analysis also sheds new light on duties in the current European refugee crisis. (shrink)
We develop and defend a distinction between two types of self-censorship: public and private. First, we suggest that public self-censorship refers to a range of individual reactions to a public censorship regime. Second, private self-censorship is the suppression by an agent of his or her own attitudes where a public censor is either absent or irrelevant. The distinction is derived from a descriptive approach to self-censorship that asks: who is the censor, who is the censee, and how do they interact? (...) We label situations in which censor and censee are different agents as public self-censorship, and situations in which they are the same agents as private self-censorship. We demonstrate the salience of this distinction by analysing the case of publication of Mohammed cartoons by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Our analysis reveals the presence and interaction of a number of different instances of private and public self-censorship. While our article is primarily concerned with establishing this novel descriptive distinction between public and private self-censorship, our analysis has important evaluative implications. We explain for instance how Jyllands-Posten was laudable as a public self-censor but not so as a private self-censor. In general, our analysis reveals that the agents and processes involved in public and private self-censorship are substantively different, as are the agents to whom normative principles regarding censorship should be applied. In particular, principles of free speech do not apply to the case of private self-censorship, because while an instance of censorship, the absence of an external censor makes the censorship non-coercive. (shrink)
We investigate the issue of aggregativity in fair division problems from the perspective of cooperative game theory and Broomean theories of fairness. Paseau and Saunders proved that no non-trivial theory of fairness can be aggregative and conclude that theories of fairness are therefore problematic, or at least incomplete. We observe that there are theories of fairness, particularly those that are based on cooperative game theory, that do not face the problem of non-aggregativity. We use this observation to argue that the (...) universal claim that no non-trivial theory of fairness can guarantee aggregativity is false. Paseau and Saunders’s mistaken assertion can be understood as arising from a neglect of the games approach to fair division. Our treatment has two further pay-offs: for one, we give an accessible introduction to the games approach to fair division, whose significance has hitherto not been appreciated by philosophers working on fairness. For another, our discussion explores the issue of aggregativity in fair division problems in a comprehensive fashion. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: I. METAPHYSICS -- 1. How Do Realism, Materialism, and Dialectics Fare in Contemporary Science? -- 2. New Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous -- 3. Energy: Between Physics and Metaphysics -- 4. The Revival of Causality -- 5. Emergence and the Mind -- 6 SCIENTIFIC REALISM -- 6. The Status of Concepts -- 7. Popper's Unworldly World 3 --II. METHODOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE -- 8. On Method in the Philosophy of Science -- 9. Induction in Science (...) -- 10. The GST Challenge to the Classical Philosophies of Science -- 11. The Power and Limits of Reduction -- 12. Thinking in Metaphors --III. PHILOSOPHY OF MATHEMATICS -- 13. Moderate Mathematical Fictionism -- 14. The Gap between Mathematics and Reality -- 15. Two Faces and Three Masks of Probability --IV. PHILOSOPHY OF PHYSICS -- 16. Physical Relativity and Philosophy -- 17. Hidden Variables, Separability, and Realism -- 18. Schrodinger's Cat Is Dead --V. PHILOSOPHY OF PSYCHOLOGY -- 19. From Mindless Neuroscience and Brainless Psychology to Neuropsychology -- 20. Explaining Creativity -- VI. PHILOSOPHY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE -- 21. Analytic Philosophy of Society and Social Science: -- The Systemic Approach as an Alternative to Holism and Individualism -- 22. Rational Choice Theory: A Critical Look at Its Foundations -- 23. Realism and Antirealism in Social Science --VII. PHILOSOPHY OF TECHNOLOGY -- 24. The Nature of Applied Science and Technology -- 25. The Technology-Science-Philosophy Triangle in Its Social Context -- 26. The Technologies in Philosophy --VIII. MORAL PHILOSOPHY -- 27. A New Look at Moral Realism -- 28. Rights Imply Duties --IX. SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY -- 29. Morality Is the Basis of Legal and Political Legitimacy -- 30. Technoholodemocracy: An Alternative to -- Capitalism and Socialism -- Bibliography -- Index of Names -- Index of Subjects. (shrink)
The concept of time discounting introduces weights on future goods to make these less valu- able. Famously, both the specic functional form of time discounting and its normative sta- tus are contested. To address these problems, this paper provides a measurement-theoretic framework of representation for time discounting. The general representation theorem char- acterises time discounting factors as ratio-scale representations of dierences in temporally extended prospects. This framework of representation is used to reconsider interpretations of time discounting factors such as time (...) preferences, uncertainty and preference change. It also allows to compare these interpretations with regards to their normative appeal, the kinds of reductionism regarding time and preference they imply and the specic functional form of time discounting they suggest. Farther, multiple-self interpretations of decision-makers become available, such that a time discounting factor represents the degree of connectedness between temporal selves in a person. (shrink)
In economics, the concept of time discounting introduces weights on future goods to make these less valuable. Yet, both the conceptual motivation for time discounting and its specic functional form remain contested. To address these problems, this paper provides a measurement-theoretic framework of representation for time discounting. The representation theorem characterises time discounting factors by representations of time dierences. This general result can be interpreted with existing theories of time discounting to clarify their formal and conceptual assumptions. It also provides (...) a conceptually neutral framework for comparing the descriptive and normative merits of those theories. (shrink)
Sarah Grand was one of the most prominent New Women of the 1890s and a notable social purity feminist and suffragist. This collection offers important insights into the full range of her journalistic output and lesser-known fictional writings. It also makes available biographical and autobiographical material, and previously unpublished manuscript sources. The first volume reproduces Grand's articles and the contemporary critical reception of her work. The letters in volume two, written mostly in the 1920s and 1930s, shed light on Grand's (...) genesis as a writer and her interaction with 1890s artistic and feminist circles. The third and fourth volumes contain a selection of short stories from three collections published at and after the turn of the century. These comment on some of the explosive issues of that time: feminism, decadence, eugenics, class, race and war. They also reflect Grand's exploration of the interplay between gender and genre. (shrink)
This anthology contextualizes key feminist texts and ideas by linking them with the transformation of public opinion brought about by the late Victorian debate on marriage, motherhood and women's right to an independent life. Included are Mona Caird's controversial The Morality of Marriage ; debates between feminists, traditionalists and anti-feminists on marriage, divorce and the New Woman, and selected reading from New Woman fiction, both feminist and anti-feminist, which reproduces the media debate on morality in literature.
In line with Allen Newell's challenge to develop complete cognitive architectures, and motivated by a recent proposal for a unifying subsymbolic computational theory of cognition, we introduce the cognitive control architecture SEMLINCS. SEMLINCS models the development of an embodied cognitive agent that learns discrete production rule-like structures from its own, autonomously gathered, continuous sensorimotor experiences. Moreover, the agent uses the developing knowledge to plan and control environmental interactions in a versatile, goal-directed, and self-motivated manner. Thus, in contrast to several well-known (...) symbolic cognitive architectures, SEMLINCS is not provided with production rules and the involved symbols, but it learns them. In this paper, the actual implementation of SEMLINCS causes learning and self-motivated, autonomous behavioral control of the game figure Mario in a clone of the computer game Super Mario Bros. Our evaluations highlight the successful development of behavioral versatility as well as the learning of suitable production rules and the involved symbols from sensorimotor experiences. Moreover, knowledge- and motivation-dependent individualizations of the agents’ behavioral tendencies are shown. Finally, interaction sequences can be planned on the sensorimotor-grounded production rule level. Current limitations directly point toward the need for several further enhancements, which may be integrated into SEMLINCS in the near future. Overall, SEMLINCS may be viewed as an architecture that allows the functional and computational modeling of embodied cognitive development, whereby the current main focus lies on the development of production rules from sensorimotor experiences. (shrink)
When adopting a sound logical system, reasonings made within this system are correct. The situation with reasonings expressed, at least in part, with natural language is much more ambiguous. One way to be certain of the correctness of these reasonings is to provide a logical model of them. To conclude that a reasoning process is correct we need the logical model to be faithful to the reasoning. In this case, the reasoning inherits, so to speak, the correctness of the logical (...) model. There is a weak link in this procedure, which I call the faithfulness problem: how do we decide that the logical model is faithful to the reasoning that it is supposed to model? That is an issue external to logic, and we do not have rigorous formal methods to make the decision. The purpose of this paper is to expose the faithfulness problem (not to solve it). For that purpose, we will consider two examples, one from the geometrical reasoning in Euclid’s Elements and the other from a study on deductive reasoning in the psychology of reasoning. (shrink)
The received view in philosophical studies of quantum field theory is that Feynman diagrams are simply calculational devices. Alongside this view we have the one that takes virtual quanta to be also simply formal tools. This received view was developed and consolidated in philosophy of physics by Mario Bunge, Paul Teller, Michael Redhead, Robert Weingard, Brigitte Falkenburg, and others. In this article I present an alternative to the received view.
In this paper we will demonstrate that a computational system can meet the criteria for autonomy laid down by classical enactivism. The two criteria that we will focus on are operational closure and structural determinism, and we will show that both can be applied to a basic example of a physically instantiated Turing machine. We will also address the question of precariousness, and briefly suggest that a precarious Turing machine could be designed. Our aim in this paper is to challenge (...) the assumption that computational systems are necessarily heteronomous systems, to try and motivate in enactivism a more nuanced and less rigid conception of computational systems, and to demonstrate to computational theorists that they might find some interesting material within the enactivist tradition, despite its historical hostility towards computationalism. (shrink)
The autopoietic theory and the enactive approach are two theoretical streams that, in spite of their historical link and conceptual affinities, offer very different views on the nature of living beings. In this paper, we compare these views and evaluate, in an exploratory way, their respective degrees of internal coherence. Focusing the analyses on certain key notions such as autonomy and organizational closure, we argue that while the autopoietic theory manages to elaborate an internally consistent conception of living beings, the (...) enactive approach presents an internal tension regarding its characterization of living beings as intentional systems directed at the environment. (shrink)
Building on the original formulation of the autopoietic theory (AT), extended enactivism argues that living beings are autopoietic systems that extend beyond the spatial boundaries of the organism. In this article, we argue that extended enactivism, despite having some basis in AT’s original formulation, mistakes AT’s definition of living beings as autopoietic entities. We offer, as a reply to this interpretation, a more embodied reformulation of autopoiesis, which we think is necessary to counterbalance the (excessively) disembodied spirit of AT’s original (...) formulation. The article aims to clarify and correct what we take to be a misinterpretation of AT as a research program. AT, contrary to what some enactivists seem to believe, did not (and does not) intend to motivate an extended conception of living beings. AT’s primary purpose, we argue, was (and is) to provide a universal individuation criterion for living beings, these understood as discrete bodies that are embedded in, but not constituted by, the environment that surrounds them. However, by giving a more explicitly embodied definition of living beings, AT can rectify and accommodate, so we argue, the enactive extended interpretation of autopoiesis, showing that although living beings do not extend beyond their boundaries as autopoietic unities, they do form part, in normal conditions, of broader autopoietic systems that include the environment. (shrink)
This essay addresses the relationships between prescription and description in legal rules. The analysis will focus on the culture-laden connotations of factual categories implied in all legal sentences and/or provisions. This investigation is spurred by the need to assess the impact of cultural difference in people’s understanding of legal imperatives and, symmetrically, how that impact is to be considered in the application of law. Differences in ways of categorizing the world could position the cultural pre-understanding required by law, and the (...) pluralism recognized and protected by constitutional principles and human/fundamental rights discourse, at a crossroads. Hence, even when we find an illegitimacy or an ignorance about what legal rules do not explicitly state but instead implicitly presuppose, this does not exclude that behind that ignorance there may be something worthy of legal protection. A question emerges: is it legitimate and reasonable to consider the ignorantia facti resulting from differing ways of categorizing the factual world as automatically and uncritically subject to the principle ignoratia legis non excusat? The essay continues with an assessment of the possible consequences of ignorantia facti in the administration of justice in multicultural societies and migration contexts. For this purpose, the opportunity for an intercultural use of law—including within national law—will be considered as a means of avoiding the discriminatory application of ignorantia facti. This topic will be addressed by leveraging both semiotic and cultural-anthropological analytical tools, including the well-known greimasien “contrat de véridiction”. (shrink)
The many constraints of outer space experience challenge the human ability to coexist. Paradoxically, astronauts assert that on the international space station there are no conflicts or, at least, that they are able to manage their differences, behavioral as well as cognitive, in full respect of human rights and the imperatives of cooperative living. The question is: Why? Why in those difficult, a-terrestrial, and therefore almost unnatural conditions do human beings seem to be able to peacefully and collaboratively live together? (...) What is there beyond terrestrial boundary conditions that allows for such a result? And what can we learn from the astronauts’ experience about the effectiveness of human rights on Earth? My proposal is that the a-terrestrial dimension deeply alters the mind/body indexical framework and, in this way, disentangles the human inclination to semiosis from the cognitive and behavioral habits of categorization and territorialization inherent in the experience on Earth. If analyzed through the spectrum of an interdisciplinary approach involving anthropology, semiology, law, and human geography, I think that outer space enterprises can offer many insights into the cognitive and ethical/political hindrances to the effectiveness of human rights and their intercultural uses. Meanwhile the compulsive greed for a possessive territorialization of outer space and celestial bodies is growing by leaps and bounds. It haunts and imbues both astropolitics and space law. The astronauts’ semio-anthropological experience of human rights and cooperative coexistence seems to have been left in orbit. The future requires awareness and action by anthropologists, semioticians, cognitive scientists, geographers and lawyers, working all together in an interdisciplinary effort to move beyond approaching the experiential with a territorial mindset. The hope is that the “dark dream” of human exploitation/colonization of outer space will not turn from a political and legal speculation into a future reality. (shrink)
The Bible recounts that in Eden, Adam gives names to all the animals. But those names are not only representations of the animals’ nature, rather they shape and constitute it. The naming by Adam contains in itself the divide between the human and non-human. Then, there is the Fall: Adam falls and forgets Being. Though he may still remember the names he gave to the animals in Eden, he is no longer sure about their meaning. Adam will have to try (...) to remember his own intentions. Through this effort he can also become aware of how he thinks, who he is, and what was the natural order he knew before the Fall. Medieval bestiaries tell us this story. Bestiaries are works of word play populated by animal figures. They depend on back-and-forth anthropomorphization, or circular metaphor. Animal figures are portrayed as both a mirror of human nature and a window on it. Bestiaries served as means for the moral education of human beings and, at the same time, a way to criticize the current state of humanity, including political and ethical habits. Within the moral irony of medieval bestiaries we can find the origin of the invented nature that modernity will try, subsequently, to insert into natural rights discourse through the teleological oxymoron of their naturalized and naturalizing counter-factuality. I will propose a historical-semiotic journey through the ironic representations of the human-beasts from the ancient world to contemporaneity. The proposal resulting from this cultural excursion is that the words included in the many national and international Rights declarations operate much like the names Adam gave to the animals and still more as they were re-read in medieval bestiaries, both textual and musical. So, can the words of Rights still serve as musical scores, open to an infinite play of re-signification? If we were able to overcome the modern culture/nature and human being/animal dualisms, we could cast, today as in the past, a zoological gaze on human rights by means of contemporary bestiaries and, in this way, perhaps find the gist of rights’ names and our ever regained and ever lost again humanity. (shrink)
This article presents an analysis of the concept of disability in Amartya Sen’s capabilities and functionings approach in the context of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Following a critical review of the concept of disability—from its traditional interpretation as an essentially medical concept to its later interpretation as a socially constructed category—we will introduce the concept of functional diversity. The importance of human diversity in the capabilities and functionings approach calls for incorporating this concept into the analysis of well-being and (...) quality of life in persons with disability—aspects in which ICT currently plays a major role. When one contemplates these technologies, it becomes clear that factors such as accessibility, design for all, and user participation in development and implementation processes are key strategies in promoting equal rights and equal opportunity for persons with disability in the different environments of the information society. (shrink)
In the remainder of this article, we will disarm an important motivation for epistemic contextualism and interest-relative invariantism. We will accomplish this by presenting a stringent test of whether there is a stakes effect on ordinary knowledge ascription. Having shown that, even on a stringent way of testing, stakes fail to impact ordinary knowledge ascription, we will conclude that we should take another look at classical invariantism. Here is how we will proceed. Section 1 lays out some limitations of previous (...) research on stakes. Section 2 presents our study and concludes that there is little evidence for a substantial stakes effect. Section 3 responds to objections. The conclusion clears the way for classical invariantism. (shrink)
We analyze the sequential structure of dynamic games with perfect information. A three-stage account is proposed, that species setup, reasoning and play stages. Accordingly, we define a player as a set of agents corresponding to these three stages. The notion of agent connectedness is introduced into a type-based epistemic model. Agent connectedness measures the extent to which agents' choices are sequentially stable. Thus describing dynamic games allows to more fully understand strategic interaction over time. In particular, we provide suffcient conditions (...) for backward induction in terms of agent connectedness. Also, our framework makes explicit that the epistemic independence assumption involved in backward induction reasoning is stronger than usually presumed, and makes accessible multiple-self interpretations for dynamic games. (shrink)
We conceive of a player in dynamic games as a set of agents, which are assigned the distinct tasks of reasoning and node-specific choices. The notion of agent connectedness measuring the sequential stability of a player over time is then modeled in an extended type-based epistemic framework. Moreover, we provide an epistemic foundation for backward induction in terms of agent connectedness. Besides, it is argued that the epistemic independence assumption underlying backward induction is stronger than usually presumed.
We propose and defend a distinction between two types of self-censorship: public and private. In public self-censorship, individuals restrain their expressive attitudes in response to public censors. In private self-censorship, individuals do so in the absence of public censorship. We argue for this distinction by introducing a general model which allows us to identify, describe, and compare a wide range of censorship regimes. The model explicates the interaction between censors and censees and yields the distinction between two types of self-censorship. (...) In public self-censorship, the censee aligns her expression of attitudes according to the public censor. In private self-censorship, the roles of censor and censee are fullled by the same agent. The distinction has repercussions for normative analysis: principles of free speech can only be invoked in cases of public self-censorship. (shrink)